‘No political revenge’ in bank guarantee probe

A top-level probe into the bank guarantee scheme will not be used as a tool of political revenge, the Government has promised.

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton insists the inquiry will not be “politically motivated”.

Controversy has surrounded moves to investigate the circumstances of Sept 2008, when the Fianna Fáil-Green government provided a €440bn blanket guarantee for Irish banking.

Mr Bruton said the probe was needed to identify policy and legislative mistakes to ensure such circumstances can be avoided in future.

He brushed aside claims that the Government would use it to blame the economic crisis on Fianna Fáil in the run-up to the 2014 local and European elections.

“Our economy and our society suffered a catastrophic impact from what happened,” Mr Bruton told RTÉ.

The scope of the planned probe was curtailed when voters rejected restoring full inquiry powers to the Oireachtas in a 2011 referendum.

Public Expenditure Reform Minister Brendan Howlin is to release the legal guidelines for future Oireachtas investigations shortly.

The remit of any probe has sparked controversy, with the Fianna Fáil chair of the Dáil Public Accounts Committee outlining his proposals for an inquiry last year.

The rejection of the constitutional amendment that would have beefed up Oireachtas powers of investigation means any inquiry will not be able to apportion blame to individuals.

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